The Warrior and Wisdom Goddess

Project by: Kate Mallek and Emily Lai

Athena Helps Perseus

The king of Argos, Acrisius, wanted a son to rule his kingdom but had a daughter, Danae, instead. An oracle foretold that his grandson would kill him and he would never have a son of his own. When Acrisius found out that Danae had a son, Perseus, he sent her and the baby in a chest, out to sea. Dictys, the fisherman, found them in the chest and offered them a home for many years. One day, Polydectes, the king of Seriphos, came to their home because he had fallen in love with Danae. Perseus, now grown up, warned the king to leave his mother alone. Polydectes tricked Perseus into getting him a gift so while he was away, he could marry Danae. Perseus set off to get the head of Medusa. He was given some gifts and tools from Athena, the warrior goddess, and the Stygian Nymphs to help defeat Medusa because anyone that looks at her will turn to stone. He was given flying sandals (that helped him fly) and The Cap of Darkness (that made him invisible). Perseus forced the three Gray Women to tell him where the Medusa’s hiding place was. Perseus went into Medusa’s lair and cut off her head while she was sleeping. When Medusa's sisters' cried over her death, Athena put their cries into an instrument called the flute. On Perseus's way back, he turned Atlas, the Titan, into a mountain because they were arguing and Perseus pulled out Medusa’s head. Perseus also rescued Andromeda from the sea monster because he fell in love with her. When he got back home, he was angry that Polydectes had lied to him. He took out the head of Medusa and turned the king and his court into stone. Perseus gave Medusa's head to Athena and she put it on her shield. Years later, he married Andromeda and his mother was safe. At a Pentathlon, Perseus threw a discus and it hit a spectator on accident and killed him. The oracle’s prophecy had become true because the spectator was Acrisius.

Athena's Family Tree

Athena was said to have been born out of one of Zeus's bad headaches. She came out of his head fully grown and armed. She never got married or had any children.
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Is Athena a Hero or Villain?

Athena and Oprah are alike because they both are heroes. They both try to help people whenever they can. For example, Athena helped Olympus when Typhon was attacking them. She also helped in war. She fought in the Trojan war and she was one of the bravest warriors. And Oprah helped people too. She built a school in Africa and gives money to colleges and schools. She also helps charities. On the other hand Athena and Oprah are different because some of their qualities are not alike and they do kind acts in different ways. Athena gave advice to Odysseus and helped him gain his confidence. She also helped inventors with problems when they were stuck. Oprah is different than Athena in many ways. For example, Oprah has donated over 250 million dollars. And she also created the Oprah Winfrey foundation which raises money for families. While Oprah donates money and helps hands-on, Athena gave advice and sometimes gifts to people who needed help (usually to defeat an evil force). Oprah and Athena are alike and different in many ways. I think that Athena is a hero because she offered advice and a lending hand to many mortals on a quest. Even though, once in a while, her cruel sense of humor took over, she is overall a kind hero.

Athena's Greek Portrait

Athena is usually seen with her owl because she was so impressed by the wisdom in it's eyes that she honored it by making it her favorite animal.

Our Interview With Athena

Q1. How did the olive tree become one of your symbols? What does it mean?

A1. The olive tree became one of my symbols because Poseidon and I both wanted to rule Greece. We had a competition to see who could give the mortals a more impressive gift. He took his trident and smashed it into a hill, creating a salt water fountain. I planted an olive tree into the ground because every part of it was useful. I won and the Greek capital, Athens, was named in my honor. The olive tree stands for peace and goodwill.

Q2. What is your Greek name? What does it mean?

A2. My Greek name is Athene. It means wise or wisdom.

Q3. What are your weaknesses and fears?

A3. I don't have many, but I don't like to be forgotten. Also, sometimes, I can be swayed by gifts.

Q4. What are your strengths?

A4. My strengths are that I am very good in war, but I also like to help people whenever I can.

Q5. Where do you live?

A5. I live in a palace on top of Mount Olympus with the other Olympians.

Q6. Do people celebrate you on a certain day?

A6. Yes, people celebrate me on August 13th with a festival called Panathenaea.

Q7. Do you have temples to honor you?

A7. Yes, I have many but the most famous is called the Parthenon. The Athenians built it on a acropolis in Athens for me.

Q8. What do you like to wear?

A8. I usually wear a war helmet, carry a shield with Medusa's head on it, and I carry a spear.

Q9. What are your powers?

A9. I can fly through the air and change my shape.

Q10. What are you most famous for?

A10. I am most famous for my envolvment in the Trojan War.

Q11. What is the most famous story about you?

A11. The most famous story I'm in is called the Odyssey. In this story, I help the Greek hero Odysseus after his victory in the Trojan War.